TransAction - Open Call Now Closed

TransAction an artist book series dedicated to exploring trans theory and experience through art and writing. 

The goal of this project is to design and publish a short-run artist book series containing the work of contemporary trans artists, scholars, and activists. This project is a response to finding it difficult to connect with other trans artists and scholars when we are so spread out around the country and the world. It is also a response to the many art venues and academic journals having a “trans” issue or “trans” show wherein trans people are featured but not always centered in the decision making process. 

The mission of TransAction is to provide a platform and space for challenging and critical dialogue by trans people about the trans experience and to produce a publication that allows the work to be shared. Much of the current conversation around trans people is centered around reacting to mainstream political ideas and debates regarding our existence and rights. What TransAction aims to do is provide a space for deeper and more complicated conversations to flourish.

Unlike a traditional academic journal or art gallery, the works selected for inclusion in TransAction need not be created from an academic perspective or with the traditional gallery space in mind. TransAction will welcome submissions of visual art, poetry, critical theory, creative fiction and nonfiction, and other experimental visual and textual forms.

See Open Call Details below:

TransAction Open Call: 

What I Say When I Say What I Shouldn’t


Whether explicitly or implicitly, trans people often feel pressure to uphold certain narratives or political stances, to make more streamlined and digestible our goals, views, and intentions. With this call, TransAction invites submissions of art and writing by trans identified people (see a longer definition of this below) that complicates the dominant narratives and perceived truths of experience. “What I Say When I Say What I Shouldn’t” aims to be a space for trans people to opt out of the political/social pressure to be intelligible and knowable to people outside of the trans community as a way of creating room to dig into the complicated questions we often stay silent about.

Any and all trans people. Trans in this case may refer to (but is not limited to) categories such as transgender, transexual, transwoman, transman, gender nonconforming, gender non-binary, genderqueer, agender, and other gender indentities and expressions which lay outside of western/colonial constructs of gender. Further, TransAction encourages submissions from people across all ages, levels of education, nationalities, races, and classes.

Works of art or writing which respond to the call theme: “What I Say When I Say What I Shouldn’t”. 

For works of art, all formats will be considered however, submissions that lend themselves to 1 or 2 color printing and submissions that lend themselves to being printed at sizes 8” x 10” or smaller will be easier to accommodate. Formats could include but are not limited to: drawings/paintings, graphic designs, comics, photographs, and video stills.

For writing, all formats will be considered however works below 2000 words are preferred. Further, TransAction encourages submissions of any format but is particularly interested in any of the following: poetry, experimental fiction and nonfiction, text art, fragments/excerpts of longer pieces, sections of previously published works you wish to see recontextualized and other non-traditional writing formats.

(Artists and authors chosen will give permission for TransAction to publish their work but will retain ownership and publishing rights to all accepted work.)

The open call will end on January 31st (1/31/20) at 11:59PM. The project will be published in Spring/Summer 2019.


Works can be submitted through the following online form: LINK 

Image for social media:



Q: How many books will be produced?

A: Currently, the first edition of the book is planned as an edition of 100 physical copies as well as a digital version.

Q: How will the books be printed and bound?

A: The books will be printed locally in Grand Rapids Michigan uses digital offset or risograph printing. The books will be bound by Chelsea in her studio.

Q: How can I get a copy of the book?

A: All participants will receive a digital and physical copy for free, more information will be available soon on how and where to purchase the book. The book price will range from $15-$30 depending on the final design.

Q: Is there an honorarium or other compensation for participants?

A: Not at this time, the TransAction project has been partially funded through a grant program but most of the labor for the project will be volunteered time (by Chelsea) and the printing costs will be offset through sales. As stated above however, artists and authors will be provided a copy of the book and in addition to this, they retain future publishing rights and ownership over their work. That being said, I am actively seeking other sources of funding and if successful would  use these funds in part to add a small honorarium.

Q: Why the format of an artist book?

A: The format of the artist book allows me the freedom to format text and images to best suit the work. It also allows me to create a book that is not limited by the demands of outside publishers and to be creative with regard to layout, design, and binding.

Q: Why are you only accepting submissions from trans people?

A: While I don't want to further marginalize trans people by furthering the separation between their creative production and that of the larger world, I do see a lack of opportunity for trans people to engage in complex and messy conservations about their experience and about trans theory. Further, I have time and time again witnessed the first hand the way editors, department heads, and other folks in positions of power tokenize trans people to advance "diversity" goals without ever doing the work required to support voices resulting in trans people being put in emotionally and intellectually extractive situations.

So, until such a time that the broader cultural, academic, and artistic community can support trans voices in a holistic and non-extractive way, I will work to provide alternative spaces and platforms for us to share our work, free of the expectations often saddled upon us to make ourselves visible and legible for non-trans audiences.

More questions? Feel free to email me at:


This project is funded in part by GameTime Grants of Grand Rapids. More information about the program can be found here: